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What to expect from COP26

What are the main goals of COP26 and what needs to be done to achieve these outcomes?


Addressing the climate crisis

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) gets underway in Glasgow this Sunday and will bring together heads of state, climate experts, and campaigners from across the world over the 12-day conference. The aim is to address the growing issue of climate change and establish what actions each country needs to be taking to help tackle and mitigate the effects of global warming.

What needs to be achieved at COP26?

You can read more about the COP26 goals here. We’ve summarised the main aims below.

  • Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  • Mobilise finance

To achieve these outcomes, all participating countries will need to ‘work together to deliver’. This will involve governments, businesses, and civil societies all acting in sync with each other to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

To secure global net zero by mid-century and limit global warming closer to 1.5 degrees, action from every country across the world is vital.

A key part of the Paris Agreement was for the 196 countries who adopted the legally binding treaty, to communicate and update emission reduction targets (NDCs) every five years. The expectation is higher for the large emitting countries as well as developed nations to attend COP26 with ambitious and updated targets for 2030. Whilst these targets are key to success, acting fast is just as important.

Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

The effects of climate change have already started to have an impact on different communities and habitats across the world. The sad reality is those countries that are heavily effected, tend to be those contributing far less than others.

Building resilience around this is now crucial to stopping people losing their lives or livelihoods. Every country will be encouraged to produce an ‘Adaptation Communication’ and get on board with the Adaptation Action Coalition, which was co-developed by the UK and has 38 member countries.

Both the Coalition and the Adaptation communications will encourage countries to share their issues with one another and strive to find the most appropriate solutions to help combat the more challenging impacts of climate change.

Mobilise Finance

For the first two aims of COP26 to succeed, commitment from every company, financial firm, bank, insurer, and investor will be required. Similarly, every developed country will be pushed to deliver on its promise of mobilising $100 billion per year for climate finance.

Both public and private finance will be required to help manage the rising impacts climate change is having on a countries citizens.

Trident @COP26

“COP26 will see up to 25,000 people in Glasgow over the next fortnight and I really hope that everyone leaves the event with a clear vision on the action that countries will take to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. Too many false promises have been made in the past and now is the time to stop the political jousting and start taking action.  Some commentators say that action now is too late and there is no more time to keep the 1.5c goal alive, however, that’s a limiting belief. The most powerful countries in the world can do more.  Governments across the globe need to support developing countries and meet their pledges in terms of financial packages.  Wealthier countries failing to meet their financial pledges to help poorer countries is not acceptable. They need to dig deep and deliver on their promises.”

Michael Dugdale, Managing Director @ Trident Utilities

Trident will be keeping track of what’s happening throughout the conference and will be posting updates on our website and LinkedIn page.

Jargon buster

COP26 – COP26 is the next annual UN climate change conference. COP stands for Conference of the Parties, the parties being the 197 signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty.

Net Zero – Net Zero is the balance between the input and output of carbon emissions. Achieving Net Zero can only happen when the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed.

Paris Agreement – The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Pre-Industrial Level – Refers to any period of time before the start of the industrial revolution.

NDCs – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Adaptation Communication – is a summary of what a country is doing and planning to do to adapt to the impacts of the changing climate, challenges they face and where they need help.

Adaptation Action Coalition – will drive action through targeted sectoral workstreams and events. The Coalition’s primary aim is to accelerate global action on adaption to achieve a climate-resilient world by 2030.

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